SONG KIM (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) acknowledged the global success in ending the public health emergency of COVID-19 but highlighted the ongoing sociopolitical instability caused by the pandemic. Expressing concern over confrontation and bloc-forming by some UN members, he stressed the importance of defending multilateralism and promoting unity and cooperation based on international law and fundamental principles, all of which are equally crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. He further emphasized his country’s commitment to self-reliance and balanced economic growth, while underscoring the Government’s efforts to provide modern housing and dairy products to its citizens, address climate change and enhance disaster resilience. Describing 2023 as “an extremely dangerous year” for the military security situation in and around the Korean Peninsula, he cited the challenges posed by the United States and its allies. He criticized them for their actions, including joint military exercises and the formation of a tripartite military alliance. In response, he announced Pyongyang’s intention to accelerate the build-up of its self-defence capabilities to “firmly defend the national sovereignty, security interests and well-being” of his country. Turning to recent discussion in the Security Council regarding Pyongyang’s satellite launch and human rights issues, he urged that organ to observe the principles of objectivity, impartiality and equity.
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